Brigham Young University Academic Vice President C. Shane Reese announced two university leadership changes this week: Laura C. Bridgewater as dean of the College of Life Sciences and Justin Collings as the associate academic vice president for faculty development.
“Both Laura and Justin are wonderful leaders here on campus," Reese said. "They will be tremendous assets to their respective areas. I am confident in their abilities and talents to help our campus community and achieve the aims of this university."
Bridgewater currently works as the associate academic vice president for faculty development and will begin her new role as dean on July 1.
Prior to her administrative role with the university, Bridgewater was an associate dean in the College of Life Sciences. She also served as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology from 2011 to 2014. She received BYU’s Young Scholar Award in 2004, was BYU’s Alice Louise Reynolds Lecturer in 2006 and received the College of Life Sciences’ Outstanding Mentor Award in 2008.
Bridgewater received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology at BYU and holds a doctorate in genetics from George Washington University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and has since been on the faculty at BYU since 1999.
She replaces James Porter, who has been the dean since 2015. He plans to continue as a faculty member in the college for one more year before retiring in 2023.
Collings will replace Bridgewater as she moves into her new role as dean. He currently works as a professor of law and associate dean for faculty and curriculum at BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he began teaching in 2013. He is a teacher and scholar of constitutional law and constitutional history and is the author of two academic books, both published by Oxford University Press, as well as numerous scholarly articles and book chapters.
He studied at BYU, where he double majored in English and Italian, as well as at Yale University, where he earned both a J.D. and a Ph.D. in history.
During the 2012–13 judicial term, he was a law clerk to the Hon. Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.